A Hard Sell ( a 2011 “rerun”)

So this morning I’m re-posting some thoughts from 2011 concerning Proverbs 8. Last night I was on a “mission of mercy” run with a buddy and we didn’t get me home until the wee hours of the morning. Doing well to get my readings in this a.m. . . . but not enough time (or brain power) to put together some thoughts.

Also, this weekend Sue and I will be heading out on our annual camping trip with our church family. The “cost” of connecting in such a fabulous way with the saints is that I am disconnecting from the Internet . . . off the grid. Still will be reading each morning . . . still noodling . . . even still writing . . . but probably not posting.

Hope today’s thoughts are of some encouragement . . .

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It may just be one of the most compelling chapters in all of Scripture. It is a call . . . it is a plea . . . it is a glorious proclamation . . . it is a sacred promise . . . it is, as the heading in my Bible says, “The Blessings of Wisdom.” You read Proverbs 8 and you can’t help but sense the urgency and the passion around wisdom’s call to men to pursue her and embrace her. It, quite simply, is a hard sell.

The Spirit’s creativity in moving Solomon to personify wisdom as a woman who calls out to the simple to heed her words and embrace her ways is very engaging. It takes wisdom from some abstract concept to an appealing person. Sometimes I find myself reading these first chapters of Proverbs and “hearing” Christ as the voice of wisdom . . . fits most times . . . I’m guessing that’s intended. But back to the hard sell . . .

“Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: ‘To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; . . . for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her . . . I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me . . . For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:1-7, 11, 17, 35-36 ESV)

That God values wisdom should be evident. That He desires that His people master “skillful living” should be clear. That He would that all saints should possess, in increasing measure, understanding and insight, jumps off the pages of this portion of Scripture. Solomon thrilled God when he, as a young man about to take the throne of Israel, asked for wisdom (2Chron. 1:7-12, 1Kings 3:10). And through these writings of Solomon, God uses wisdom’s voice to make His plea to me . . . that I would aspire, in some measure, to be like David’s son.

Oh that God’s Spirit would stir within God’s people a love for wisdom. That we would take advantage of her accessibility given us through the indwelling Spirit and the imparted mind of Christ. That we would pursue her as treasure, seeking her in the inspired, infallible pages of Holy Scriptures. That we would find her and that she would invade us. That we would embark on such a journey believing her promise that “those who seek me diligently find me.”

Within this “hard sell” is the pursuit of knowing Christ . . . of being conformed into the image of Christ . . . of walking as Jesus walked. And the reward truly is “better than jewels.” As we live as children of godly insight we walk in the fullness of the potential of the “new creation” we have become in Christ. As we head out into our days with increasing measure of heavenly understanding, we actively become the salt we’ve been called to be to a decaying world . . . we shine, by His grace, as lights in a dark world. I can’t help but think it all hangs on wisdom’s invasion of our hearts and minds.

And wisdom is not dependent on my IQ . . . rather on my SQ (spiritual quotient) . . . and that has been freely given to me in Christ . . . “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (2Peter 1:3-4). The treasures of insight, understanding, and wisdom are mine for the accessing . . . through the Word. They are mine for the possessing . . . implanted by the Spirit . . .

Hear her cry afresh this morning! Whoever finds her, finds life — and life to the full . . . whoever pursues her, obtains favor from the Lord. And, as I think about it, that’s, really, is not too hard a sell.

For my blessing . . . for His glory . . . welcome wisdom!

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